Handbook on Migration and Security
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Handbook on Migration and Security

Edited by Philippe Bourbeau

This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art analysis of the critically important links between migration and security in a globalising world, and presents original contributions suggesting innovative and emerging frontiers in the study of the securitization of migration. Experts from different fields reflect on their respective conceptualisations of the migration-security nexus, and consider how an interdisciplinary and multifaceted dialogue can stimulate and enrich our understanding of the securitisation of migration in the contemporary world.
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Chapter 9: Environmental refugees

Gregory White


The invocation of “climate refugees” as an inevitable outcome of climate change is now commonplace. For environmentalists on the political left, migrants displaced by anthropogenic climate change represent the “human face of climate change.” For the military and intelligence agencies, climate refugees pose a security threat since they will inevitably cross borders. Migration studies, however, cast doubt on the empirical validity of climate refugees; indeed, climate change may actually impede peoples’ abilities to move, especially great distances. In the end, injecting climate refugees into analyses of the expected impact of climate change supports a deepening anticipation of insecurity and abets militarization and a logic of border security.

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